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Today, all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are protected in Iowa schools from bullying and harassment. Effective September 1, 2007, Iowa Code Chapter 280 requires both public and private schools to establish policies prohibiting harassment and bullying against students by employees, school volunteers, or other students.
The Safe Schools Law protects all students from harassment and bullying based on any real or perceived trait or characteristic, including but not limited to: age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status. Harassment or bullying can be written, verbal, electronic, or physical conduct which creates an objectively hostile school environment, including the following:
- Conduct which places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or property
- Conduct which has a substantially detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health
- Conduct which substantially interferes with a student's academic performance
- Conduct which substantially interferes with the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.